A day spent . . . thinking. It is a luxury and it is a necessity. If you do not take time to think, you are just reacting, and eventually events do your thinking for you. If you spend too much time thinking you are probably not thinking at all, but "reading things on the internet" and calling it "thinking" because you're considering, weighing, evaluating. But you probably know what you thought about all those things before you read the pieces.

I actually mean staring into space, wondering what I should write about. Sifting and discarding. Working an idea on the lathe to see if the wood is soft or hard. It was a good day for it; dank, cool, overcast, and quiet.

I tweeted an immoderate opinion this weekend, and would like to retract . . . somewhat. Watched "The Good Dinosaur," and said as much as I loved "Inside Out," as far as 2015 Pixar movies I thought it was 2X. Probably an overestimation. But it was the simplicity I appreciated - an economic storyline that did not culminate in a manic explosion of action, everything coming down to that one - final - slo-mo - moment - and then - YES! Major chord! Victory! And even then in modern movies there's usually one more sequence to follow. It was "family friendly," as they say, without being juvenile. It had a Bambi moment I'm surprised more reviewers didn't elaborate on, and I'll tell you why: because it's assumed not to have the same emotional impact, that's why. It's not Mom.

The movie reminded me of Dumbo - not thematically or tonally, but because it was a short feature released in the shadow of the big predecessors who had all the momentum and PR, but showcased all the studio's strengths. Sure, the story is rote and linear, but the challenge isn't always finding a new story, it's finding a new way to tell an old one. In this case, the answer was "Sam Elliot, the Grizzled Cattle-Driving T-Rex" and I was fine with that.

One more note, and it's not a small thing: it was the most astonishingly gorgeous rendering of the natural world I think I've seen in computer-generated movies. I don't know if anyone's done better anywhere. You get used to these things. You expect them. On some level, if you know what's involved, you marvel at the complexity of the images, the computational power required to get one second of what you're seeing, but for the most part I just enjoyed it. One of these days I'll watch it again just to look at it.

The pictures below are from one of those Disruptors. They want to Disrupt how you buy soap. Because you're buying soap wrong. I saw the ad on Digg and was curious; who doesn't want to give a few moments of attention to Disruptive Soap, especially if it smells good? Something with notes of cedar and citrus and fir and maybe something else.

Then the ad runs, and this is the guy you supposedly will want to smell like.

Didn't I see him get shot in "Blade Runner"?

Or you can smell like brow-bro:


Or this guy! A real guy who smells like the soap and you should smell like this soap too:


Mind you, I'd be just as bad an example, and I'm not the target market. That would seem to be modern youth who do not trust marketing, and thus must be approached by other means.

This is called "marketing."


A 1965 machine that was probably a big hit in the PX in Vietnam:



You can't tell from the picture above, but it's a wedgehead - so named for the shape of the backbox.


When you drained on this baby, you drained.



Why was I looking for this? What made me go to Lynchburg? That was my first thought when I called up this page, and then I remembered. I'd been looking for a restaurant, and got sidetracked wandering downtown. There wasn't much that seemed unusual, until I found two spectacular locations.

This is not one of them.

It's typical of old downtown with too many sad blocks. It's not the vacancy that hurts as much as the sense of endless vacancy, past and present.

But oh, look! Tree!

A building of impressive solidity:

A hardware concern. The doors look as if they're original. Everything about the facade looks untainted - or the rehab was pulled off and they opened it up again. Hey, we found the doors in the back! Great, put 'em on.

Before the suburbs won, downtown merchants modernized for great justice:

Schewels. Many other stores. Early history:

According to records from the Lynchburg Museum System, eight years later, Elias Schewel opened a furniture store at Twelfth and Main Streets in downtown Lynchburg. The business was incorporated in 1917 and used the slogan, “Let Schewels feather your nest.” The slogan was posted outside the store on what was described in a 1947 newspaper article as a “weather-beaten tin sign.” When asked what happened to the sign, Elliot said, “It’s been gone for years,” adding that the slogan was also used for a radio program the store sponsored in the days before television.

“We used to have a Sunday radio program,” he said. “There was no television then so people listened to the radio and it was called the ‘Schewels Feather Your Nest’ program. That was every Sunday, from 12 to one.”

Wonder what it was like. A little music, some patter.

You get the sense the town had hills. But it makes for some interesting vistas - abstract art, almost.


You know what looks good? This combination. The light thin bricks, the broad white stone, and the green marble. I'm pretty sure it's green.


There's a grown-up, serious look to such structures. Which brings us to . . .



Yes. The Allied Arts Building. Perfect late 20s building - one of those structures that went up as the Depression hit, and showed you what the cities would have looked like if the crash hadn't happened.

Not crazy about the little bay windows, but it's different. Love the screen:


If you squint you can see the details on the nickle trim. I love this building. It's imperfect but it's gorgeous.

But then you wander a few blocks, and . . .




As once it was.

That concludes our underwhelming entry; more tomorrow.



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